I spend a fair amount of time on eBay, but using Internet Explorer 7 to shop on the auction site has become a bit of a nghtmare recently.
This is because I keep getting pop-ups whenever I click to view an item on the site, with a security warning related to internet telephony service Skype, which eBay acquired in 2006.
Before I can continue and actually view the product page, I need to decide whether or not to allow this:
If this just happened once, it would be annoying enough, but the fact that this warning comes up every single time I want to view an item on eBay makes it a user experience nightmare.
I’m not the only one either; eBay’s forums are full of threads complaining about this, dating back to the end of last year.
I’ve solved the problem by simply using another browser to access eBay; Firefox, Chrome and Safari are all immune to the problem, which seems to be affecting users with the combination of Vista and IE7.
IE7 has roughly a 28% share of the browser market and 12% of web users have Vista, according to these stats. I’m not sure what the overlap is, but it is clearly a significant number of eBay users.
Therefore, it baffles me why eBay didn’t test its product pages on this browser and o/s, and fix the issue before integrating Skype, and even more so that it hasn’t fixed such a serious usability issue months after users started to complain about it.